PM Modi leaked Balakot airstrikes information to Arnab: Rahul Gandhi
Upping his attack against the Centre over leaked WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami, Congress's former President Rahul Gandhi on Monday claimed that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who provided information about Balakot airstrikes to the journalist. Gandhi made these remarks in Tamil Nadu. Earlier also he had claimed that perhaps it was the PM who gave this information to the Republic TV boss.
Chats indicated Goswami knew about India's response to Pakistan?
Earlier this month, chats between Goswami and former BARC Chief Partho Dasgupta surfaced in connection to the TRP scam. In one of the messages, the journalist told Dasgupta that India was planning "something major" to avenge the Pulwama attack, wherein 40 Indian soldiers were martyred. The conversation was dated February 23, three days before Indian Air Force (IAF) jets bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed's Balakot camp.
Journalist had knowledge of airstrikes before it happened, claimed Gandhi
After the controversy (labeled as #Arnabgate on social media) surfaced, Congress demanded answers from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre. Bringing up the topic during a roadshow in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, Gandhi said a journalist knew about the Balakot airstrike even before it happened. He then said that the lives of our brave pilots were put at risk.
Congress leader asserted only five people had idea about airstrikes
Gandhi added that only five people — PM, Defense Minister, National Security Adviser, IAF Chief, and Home Minister — knew that such an attack is being planned. "Nobody else in the world knew about Balakot before it happened. Now I want to understand why an inquiry has not started on who told this journalist about Balakot before it happened," he asked.
'PM is the person through which message went to journalist'
"If the Prime Minister did not do it then why is he not ordering an inquiry. Think about it. The only reason that the Prime Minister has not ordered an inquiry is that he is the person through which that message has gone to this journalist, (sic)" he added.
PM Modi doesn't have courage to take China's name: Gandhi
The Gandhi scion also targeted PM Modi over the conflict with China, saying that the latter doesn't have the "courage" to name the neighboring nation. "You look at his speeches for the last three-four months, he does not say the word China. When the Chinese entered our territory he lied that nobody has come," he added. He also claimed PM Modi weakened India by "dividing it."
Earlier, Gandhi said revealing sensitive information is a criminal act
To recall, when Goswami's chats drew attention, Gandhi had underlined that handing over official secrets to a journalist qualified as a criminal act. "So if a secret like this has been leaked to a journalist, then it is a breach of the Official Secrets Act. It is leaking of a state secret," the parliamentarian from Wayanad said. He had also demanded a parliamentary inquiry.